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How to Record Video Like a Pro with Your Smartphone

How to Record Video Like a Pro with Your Smartphone

Nowadays, individuals can become master videographers simply with the gadgets they have in their pockets every day: their cell phones. With smartphones, including the iPhone 5, having the ability to shoot up to 1080p video quality, your videos can compete very well with the likes of some DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras. While I am not going to convince you to post your DSLR on eBay, I will show you today how the average consumer can find value in the video quality their own smartphone’s possess, without having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on more gadgets.

Understanding the Pixels

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    In videography, the most common options for resolutions are 240p, 480p, 720p, and 1080p. The “p” at the end stands for “pixel” and refers to the resolution that the device or camera can capture. The higher the pixel-age, the better the quality. Unlike photography, where megapixels aren’t necessarily appreciated past a certain degree (like 12-15 megapixels) unless the photo is blown up or highly processed, video resolution changes are more apparent. The resolution of a 720p and 1080p video is noticeably different from a 480p video. This is important to consider if you are looking into using your smartphone for specific cinematographic purposes.

    Why Lighting Counts

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    light difference

      Have you ever wondered why your phone is horrible with handling light? Your subject may look overly saturated (too much light) or inaccurately darker on camera. This all deals with your phone camera’s aperture size.

      Aperture translates to how much light your lens lets in: the larger the aperture, the more light is let in, which equals an improved image quality. Since our cameras are small on our phones, their lens are small as well, which means that not as much light is let inwe have to adjust and consider adding our own lighting when making use of our phone’s video capabilities.

      You don’t have to have studio lighting on hand: achieving good lighting on the fly involves making use of sunlight correctly with outdoor video and knowing when to use lamps while indoors. Flash is something that should be used as a last resort: flashes often give off a florescent light, which is what washes out the skin of your subject in a video. Plus, when used continuously when shooting a video, it can kill your battery life. Use flash only when you’re in a place of very little to no lighting.

      Go to Your Subject

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      image2_videography

        In videography, your main concern is to ensure that quality is maintained to prevent  the quality from decreasing even more post-production. One surefire way to reduce your video quality is by using zoom. Unlike a DSLR camera, where you have a detachable, zoom lens that adjusts like a microscope (optical zoom), the zoom on most camera phones simply magnify the image at hand (digital zoom). This leads to pixelationa reduction in video quality.

        Instead of zooming in, you should go to the subject you are attempting to focus on. While I was in Costa Rica this spring, when I wanted to take a video of a Macaw, I found placing my iPhone lens in front of binoculars allowed the binocular lens to act as the perfect form of zoom without manipulating the quality. This may be a great idea to look into if you must take a video of a subject that’s far away.

        iPhone Hacks

        Your iPhone camera comes with features on board that can help you ensure that your videos come out clear and organized. The first iPhone trick is the ability to lock the autofocus and white balance in your video. This is helpful if your subject is stationary, for example in an interview or to shoot macro video shots. To lock in autofocus and white balance, simply press and hold on the screen on the subject at hand. Do this until the bottom of the camera screen says AF/WB Lock.

        If you have the iPhone 5, you are able to take photos while making a video. Simply click the camera button at the upper right hand corner of the screen while the iPhone is recording. The third trick for video capture on iPhone is the ability to trim your video after recording. To do so, simply click either end of the top of the screen that shows the video progression. You’ll then see it turn yellow, allowing you to shorten the clip as much or as little as possible. While these hacks are cool and all, you may be looking for a bit more. No worries, we have four apps that offer extra features.

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        Your Mobile Camera Bag

        Below are three applications that are very helpful with video editing, transformation, and sharing.

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            iMovie
            – If you are looking to go above and beyond what your iPhone can do with video out of the box, iMovie is the safe choice to go with while still sticking with Apple-made programs. iMovie, working in a similar way with the desktop version, for iOS allows you to piece together multiple clips, add audio, templates, and more. This is all possible without even touching a computer. Plus, the ability to send to YouTube and other sharing websites makes for $4.99 price tag easy to swallow.

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                StopMotion Recorder – StopMotion is when you make use of photographs to piece

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                together a movie clip. StopMotion Recorder makes this easy to do while on the go. You can make use of audio, time-interval automatic shooting, add styles, adjust frame speed, and even take advantage of the app’s sharing options. $0.99.

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                    YouTube Capture – YouTube is the one-stop shop for just about any hot video on YouTube. Hundreds and thousands of video creators go onto YouTube to show off their talents, with millions of videos created from various formats. YouTube Capture allows you to easily get your video out while on the go. Plus, this offers an uploading option and customizability that isn’t available with iOS 6.

                    Your smartphone can unleash multiple ways in which you can make your videos turn into cinematic masterpieces. While you won’t have the features that come with DSLRs, like manual focusing and scene selections, the iPhone and other mobile devices are moving toward a trend where the quality isn’t too far from larger cameras. Since 2011, as seen with movies like Olive and The Swarm, Hollywood is catching on to this mobile trend. Let us know in the comments below on how you’ve been able to transform how you capture video while on the go.

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                    Published on September 20, 2018

                    11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                    11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                    In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                    Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                    In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                    Minimizing Tabs

                    Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                    Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                    Incognito Mode

                    Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                    1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                    2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                    3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                    This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                    Save Webpages as PDF Files

                    Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                    Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                    Open Recently-closed Tabs

                    Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                    One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                    The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                    Solve Mathematical Problems

                    Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                    For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                    Play Media Files

                    Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                    In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                    Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                    With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                    Stay Focus(e)d

                    Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                    Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                    With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                    This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                    Grammarly for Editing

                    Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                    You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                    Loom

                    There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                    There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                    With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                    Chrome Calendar Extension

                    No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                    Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                    Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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